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Approaching Mental Health Equity in Neuroscience for Black Women Across the Lifespan: Biological Embedding of Racism From Black Feminist Conceptual Frameworks

Published:August 26, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bpsc.2022.08.007

      Abstract

      Black women in the United States (U.S.) are faced with unrelenting chronic stressors that are often driven by racism and oppression to influence mental health inequities. Similar to common U.S. societal views of Black women, ideological values about Black women’s lives also permeate psychiatry and neuroscience research to prevent likely impactful research that fully examines the role of social power structures in the biological embedding of racism. This article’s overall aim is to highlight the most urgent areas to address in mental health inequities utilizing a Black feminist lens that include: (1) culturally grounded and contextually-relevant considerations for the biological embedding of racism on mental health outcomes for Black women across the lifespan; (2) intersectional frameworks that address mental health inequities ingrained in multiple marginalization. We conclude with a call to action informed by Black Feminist thought for the field of neuroscience to make a concerted effort to addresses mental health inequities among Black women and other disenfranchised groups from a frame of compassion, cultural humility, and a continuous pursuit of social justice.

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